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ABOUT TOWN: Farmers Market and Other Healthy Choices Coming to Stoughton? (And More...)

Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e-mail to pmpco@aol.com.

HEALTHY CHOICES COMING TO STOUGHTON: Back in the summer of 2011, the , along with the whole Stoughton community, was selected by YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) to participate in a program known as (PHC).

Co-Chair Karen Hall updated residents and business owners at the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce meeting on June 4 about the PHC initiative. Hall, who is also the Director of the Council on Aging and the Youth Commission in Stoughton, said that four major initiatives are moving forward.

The first is a Farmers' Market, which will soon be available to all Stoughton residents, providing easy access to local, affordable, healthy foods, including a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits.

The town is going to try to run it on a once a week basis, possibly at the Charles Large Gazebo in . But, the location, day and time have not yet been decided.

There is a chance the Farmers' Market could be up an running as soon as this July. We'll keep you posted.

If you'd like to get involved (as a seller or buyer), contact Terry Schneider at terry@stoughtonma.com.

The second initiative is the Community Gardens, which were started behind the Council On Aging/Youth Commission building at 110 Rockland Street, and are being expanded to the Stoughton Housing Authority on Capen Street.

In the words of the Pioneering Healthy Communities, "Resources and opportunities will be provided to Stoughton residents to enhance and expand their skills through local gardening efforts. By establishing new community and home gardens, as well as expanding existing ones, residents will help bring local, affordable produce to their community."

You can get involved. Contact Teresa Tapper at ttapper@stoughton-ma.gov.

The third initiative is one of policy. Stoughton will align local policies with the Department of Public Health's Act Fresh Campaign in an effort to provide sustainable solutions for healthy living.

Do you have some ideas? Want to get involved in policy? Contact Stephanie Patton at spatton@stoughton-ma.gov.

Finally, Hall outlined the Healthy Transportation initiative. Stoughton is working on a variety of projects that will increase resident access to safe movement ways for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

Providing safe routes to schools, trails, sidewalks, and bike paths will ensure residents have safe places to walk and ride to increase their physical fitness level. To get involved in this aspect, contact Pat Hogan at pathogan7@comcast.net.

"Our goal is for the healthy choice to be the easy choice," Hall said.

Hall spoke about a few choices that are available to help the health of individuals. Staying away from alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Wearing seat belts. Using stairs instead of elevators or escalators. Taking a bike ride or long walk. to the OASIS box at the police department lobby (to help prevent children from ingesting or misusing them.)

Hall also said that a $3,000 grant was obtained to build a Storyland Trail that would loop to and from the Lessa Playground on West Street, through a part of the . It would have stops along the 2/3 mile route, to rest and read a story with the kids.

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HELPING THOSE FROM FOREIGN LANDS LEARN ENGLISH: The Stoughton ESOL/ABE Graduation and Student Achievement Ceremony took place on May 31 in the Stoughton High School Auditorium.

CLASS 3B STOUGHTON ABE graduates included: Fernando Albergaria, Renato Albergaria, Asher Avrahami, Vasco Balde, Jonas Bernard, Elisangela Brito, Gleicivania Cruz, Mayari Ferraz, Urjita Jhurmarwala, Assel Kalybayeva, Apinya McLaughlin, Arlene Nascimento, Edelamar Neigherbon, Thong Nguyen, and Luciana Santos.  

Elaine Stewart , Dean of Workforce Development & Community Education at Massasoit Community College, and Linda Aspinwall, Director of Adult Basic Education Programs there, did the welcomes and introductions for the couple of hundred people who gathered for the festivities.  

Guest Speakers included Stoughton’s Interim Town Manager Joseph D. Feaster, Jr. and State Senator Brian A. Joyce (D-Milton).

The Ronald Homer Award (from the retired Stoughton school guidance counselor of the same name) went to Betty Mattoli, Education and Career Advisor for the program at Massasoit Community College. Mattoli presented the Anthony L. Sarno Achievement Award to Werlei Da Silva. The Citizenship Awards went to Mussarat Chaudhry and Oleh Reshetnyuk.
Instructors for the program include Dulce Carvalho (1A), Dianne Blanchard (2A), Frankie Cohen (3A), Jennifer Temkin (1A), Silvia and Jenifer Carmetti (2B & 3B), and Anastasia Zis (1B). Class speakers were Vasco Balde (3B), Thong Nguyen (3B), and Georgia Boechat (3A).

Aspinwall told About Town, “As you saw, it is a great program with adult learners who are there to learn English to better their lives which defaults to family, community and our global world."

Added Director Pat Basler,"The Stoughton Adult Basic Education program began as a cooperative effort between the Town of Stoughton, Stoughton Schools and Massasoit Community College, 13 years ago. Every year, we hear the same touching stories of how these adult students hold down one or more jobs, raise families and attend 6 hours of evening class/week to learn English in order to become true members of our community. Stoughton is very lucky to have this program."

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jennifer Dowd, Head Trainer for the Athletic Department; to Joyce Dwyer, Executive Director of the Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton, and Co-Chair of Pioneering Healthy Communities; to trainer Nancy King, the owner of Custom Fit, who helped me lose 40 pounds 14 years ago. She's fantastic!; to Carole Herrup, the former Director of Public Relations at N.E. Sinai Hospital; and to Susan Ledin, wife of Stoughton FF/EMT Jeff Ledin.

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